2020 2021

Yannick Bestaven, the best !

An unprecedented health context, some fog on the line, Kevin Escoffier’s rescue, an unfavorable weather system for speed, the panache of daggerboard boats, close racing conditions on the three oceans, the game of compensated time … The 9th edition of the Vendée Globe followed an unusualand captivating scenario!

Will the Vendée Globe take place? The question was asked for a long time. Gripped by the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic, the planet was brought to a halt during several weeks at the beginning of 2020. Although pushed back during the summer, the shadow of a new lockdown hovered over the organization of the solo round-the-world in autumn, but the Vendée Globe held up. Ten days after its opening, the Village had to close down though. The population was once again isolated. We had to resign ourselves to this image: the 33 contenders going down the deserted channel of Les Sables d’Olonne before setting off around the globe. Nevertheless, and despite being run during a lockdown, this edition had an incredible success, breaking all records of audience.

A delayed kick-off

Initially scheduled at 13H02 on Sunday 8th November 2020, the start finally took place one hour and 18 minutes later due to a patch of languid fog fixed on the line. At 14H20, the competitors set offinto two typical depressions of the North Atlantic and then a third one, Thêta, described as a tropical storm. On the day of the start, Fabrice Amedeo (Newrest – Art &Fenêtres) had to return to Les Sables because of a broken gennaker hook which had damaged the mast. He resumed his race two and a half days later. On 11th November, Jérémie Beyou (Charal) gave up his dream of victory : he also had to come back to Les Sables d’Olonne to repair damage caused by hitting a ufo, an unidentified floating object. He arrived in Les Sables on the 14th November and set sail again on the 17th, nine days afterthe lead of the fleet. The day before, Nicolas Troussel (CORUM L’Epargne) had dismasted. He was the first to retire from the race.

Daggerboard boats held up

On 18thNovember,Alex Thomson (HUGO BOSS) took the lead at the equator. It was the tenth day in the race but 16 hours more than four years before. Four days earlier, Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!), Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA – Water Family) and Damien Seguin (Groupe APICIL) were still at the forefront with their daggerboard boats. In the depressions, these IMOCAs proved more agile than foilers. The close combat between boats of different generations had only just begun.

Two days later, while moving slowly along the South-American coasts, Alex Thomson suffered a structural problem and had to undertake major repair. Meanwhile, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) and Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) managed to escape. Facing them was a raggedy Saint-Helen anticyclone. Unsteady, rather frumpy, badly oriented, it stretched out in tatters and would block them later. The leading pair ventured with three hundred miles ahead of Jean Le Cam, clearly fearsome in designing his trajectory.

DIY or retire?

The first two weeks scattered some damage among the fleet: Kojiro Shiraishi (DMG MORI Global One) glued togetherlarge parts of his mainsail; Armel Tripon (L’Occitane en Provence) finally decided not to reach La Coruna to repair a broken hook butthen had to make the best of a bad job with the means of the youngest boat in the race; later on, Isabelle Joschke’s pushpit was torn off by a sheet block.

While very busy with different repairs during the last of the Atlantic descent, Alex Thomson hit a ufo. With his rudder damaged, he announced retiring from the race off Cape Town. A few days before, Thomas Ruyant (LinkedOut) had lost the use of his cracked port foil.  A hard blow that favoured Charlie Dalin (APIVIA) who escaped – partially, as always in this Vendée Globe. It seems like the fleet behind always caught up!

The longest night

On 30th November, as the leader was about to round Cape of Good Hope, the Vendée Globe headquarters were set ablaze and got in full emergency mode: Kevin Escoffier, 3rd in the race, only had a few seconds to inform his technical team: his PRB IMOCA had broken in two, he needed to be rescued. And that was it, for lack of communication. Both his team and Race management supposed he was on a life raft without a telephone. Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) then 4th, Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ IV) 5th, Sébastien Simon (ARKEA PAPREC) 7thand Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco) 8th were re-routed by Jacques Caraës, race director. The four skippers were in the wake of PRB and the search, hazardous but orderly, began following both the positions emitted by a distress beacon and a grid of the shipwreck zone defined by winds, currents and the drifting of the life raft. During twelve hours, a feeling of anxiety seized the fleet, the race and all of France. At 2H18 French time, Jean Le Cam declared having recovered Kevin Escoffier.We could breathe once again! On 6th December, the survivor was dragged from Yes We Cam! aboard the Nivôse frigate.

The jury’s decision

This incredible event happened four hundred miles off Cape of Good Hope but had effects all the way to Les Sables d’Olonne: for the time they had lost during the search, the re-routed skippers obtained compensated time defined by the jury of the Vendée Globe on 16th December: 16H15 for Jean Le Cam, 10H15 for Yannick Bestaven, 6H for Boris Herrmann. Sébastien Simon did not wait for this allocation: two days after the rescue, ARKEA PAPREC’s skipper hit a ufo: his starboard foil was damaged but more seriously the foil casing and its attachment separated from the boat and there was a water ingress. On 4th December, the skipper from Vendée retired from the race. The following day, Sam Davies (Initiatives-Coeur) also renounced due to a damaged keel after underwater contact. Fourth to retire in this edition, she promised to resume outside of the race once the repairs were done. The South African port welcomed another unfortunate competitor soon after: Fabrice Amédéo, after his computer crashed.

Meanwhile, the Indian had decided to empty its quiver and shoot its arrows. Sometimes strong, sometimes soft, they disturbed the skippers’ weather forecasts, gave them a scare in the Great South with a depression around the Kerguelen islands or delivered apathy in impassable sluggish zones. So much so that on 13th December at 11H25 UT, when Charlie Dalin reached Cape Leeuwin first, Jean Le Cam was 4th (at 232 miles), Damien Seguin 5th (233 miles, Groupe APICIL), and Benjamin Dutreux 6th (252 miles, OMIA-Water Family). In front of these three old daggerboard boats were Thomas Ruyant (2nd), not yet really weakened by the absence of his port foil which he had cut off shortly before on the open sea, and Yannick Bestaven (3rd, at 67 miles, Maître Coq IV) who navigated ideally to catch up with the delay generated by Kevin Escoffier’s rescue. They were actually 10 to be within 400 miles, including Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group) and Isabelle Joschke (MACSF), the new leader of the 6-women peloton competing in the adventure.

A new leader

The Pacific shuffled the cards once again. Charlie Dalin had to concede several hours to his followers to do some repairs and fix a makeshift foil attachment base… and Yannick Bestaven took the lead, keeping it for a long time. He rounded Cape Horn on 2nd January after 55 days at sea and with over 160 miles ahead of Dalin and 460 of Ruyant. Behind them, Damien Seguin reached his first Horn in 4th position, less than 24 hours after the leader. So did Benjamin Dutreux, 5th. Hats off to Louis Burton who found shelter off Macquarie Island, a small island lost in the great South of New Zealand, and had toclimb the mast three times to repair a series of technical setbacks which had stopped him from using some headsails. He rounded the third cape of this round-the-world in 6th position and stayed in the match.

The ascent of the South Atlantic was true to the weather patterns that seemed to repeat themselves and systematically impacted the leaders’ progression. Yannick Bestaven suffered its consequences along the ascent of South America.All the more so, as we learned later that he had lost the use of many of his sails during a bad nosedive in the middle of a depression off Cape Horn which had torn away his furlers and pullprit.

Last ones to retire

Despite her amazing involvement, Isabelle Joschke finally gave up on 9th January. In the Southern seas, MASCF’s keel actuator rod separated from the keel head which threatened the integrity of the boat and forced her to retire. Following was Sébastien Destremau who retired in the South of New Zealand.

So who actually won?

At the start of the 10th week in the race, the hierarchy was disrupted again. In four days, Yannick Bestaven lost the full 439-mile leadthat he had managed to get over LinkedOutduring the first half of the South American ascent. The pack (Ruyant, Dalin, Seguin, Dutreux, Le Cam, Pedote) came storming after him. The most inspired were Boris Herrmann, who made a spectacular comeback and arrived in 3rd position along the Northern coasts of Brazil, in the wake of Louis Burton, first to cross the equator on the way back, who beat Charlie to it by 59 minutes. Less than four hours separated the first four (including Herrmann and Ruyant).

The return in the North Atlantic did not make positions clearer, on the contrary: a high pressure system cast doubt on the direct route to Les Sables d’Olonne while a heavy depression opened a westerly option which Louis Burton, Thomas Ruyant and Yannick Bestaven took on 25th of January in a last attempt to win. Charlie Dalin and Boris Herrmann chose the South, brushing Cape Finisterre and considering they would finish better than their direct competitors for the podium thanks to a better wind angle on the last tacks. On an intermediate route, Damien Seguin and Jean Le Cam were running for the podium.

Coming from Cape Finisterre, Charlie Dalin (Apivia) crossed the finish line first on 27th January at 20H35. Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée 2) arrived from the West with nearly no electrical devices working except his automatic pilot and endured problems with his mainsail despite his epic stop in the great South. He finished 2nd on Thursday 28 at 00H45. Also on a Westerly route, and sailing under what sails he had left, Yannick Bestaven finished his solo round-the-world in 3rd place on 28th January at 04H19. He struck gold with his race time: the 10h15 credit granted by the Vendée Globe’s international jury made him the great winner of the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe.

If the story had ended with these three finishes, it would already have been impressive. But these 24 hours during which 8 boats crossed the finish line – how dense! – had not yet revealed all their surprises. A place on the podium seemed destined to Boris Herrmann buthe collided with a long-liner at night, 80 miles from the finish. He lost precious time and at least two places in the ranking.

Having arrived in 4th position in Les Sables d’Olonne, in the wake of the winner, Thomas Ruyant was downgraded two places (6th): Sea Explorer- Yacht Club de Monaco’s skipper had a 6-hour credit which ensured him a definitive 5th place. King Jean, the last to cross the finish line on this 28th January at 20H35 climbed to 4th place in the general ranking thanks to his 16H15 compensated time. 

Damien Seguin does not only have great talent, he also has an incisive sense of self-mockery. 6th on the finish line, this double Paralympic champion (born without his left hand) showed up in the channel of Les Sables d’Olonne dressed up as Captain Hook and took hold of a beautiful 7th place in the ranking. Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group) arrived 7th on the line but finished at a remarkable 8th place. On 29th and 30th January, Benjamin Dutreux (OMIA – Water Family) and Maxime Sorel (V and B – Mayenne) respectively took 9th and 10th place, proving the robustness of daggerboard IMOCAs which occupied 4 places in the top 10 of this 9thedition of the Vendée Globe.

On 3rd February, Clarisse Crémer was the first woman of this edition to cross the finish line, in 12th position behind Armel Tripon (11th) who had arrived on 1st February. Banque-Populaire X’s skipper symbolically became the fastest woman in a solo round-the-world.

The ranking of the edition

1. Yannick Bestaven (FRA, Maître Coq IV) : 80D 03H 44min
2. Charlie Dalin (FRA, APIVIA) : 80D 06H 15min
3. Louis Burton (FRA, Bureau Vallée 2) : 80D 10H 25min
4. Jean Le Cam (FRA, Yes We Cam!) : 80D 13H 44min 55s
5. Boris Herrmann (MCO, Seaexplorer - Yacht Club De Monaco) : 80D 14H 59min
6. Thomas Ruyant (FRA, LinkedOut) : 80D 15H 22min
7. Damien Seguin (FRA, Groupe APICIL) : 80D 21H 58min
8. Giancarlo Pedote (ITA, Prysmian Group) : 80D 22H 42min
9. Benjamin Dutreux (FRA, OMIA - Water Family) : 81D 19H 45min
10. Maxime Sorel (FRA, V And B Mayenne) : 82D 14H 30min
11. Armel Tripon (FRA, L'Occitane en Provence) : 84D 19H 07min
12. Clarisse Cremer (FRA, Banque Populaire X) : 87D 02H 24min
13. Jérémie Beyou (FRA, Charal) : 89D 18H 55min
14. Romain Attanasio (FRA, Pure - Best Western Hotels and Resorts) : 90D 02H 46min
15. Arnaud Boissieres (FRA, La Mie Câline - Artisans Artipôle) : 94D 18H 36min
16. KojiroShiraishi (JPN, DMG MORI Global One) : 94D 21H 32min
17. Alan Roura (CHE, La Fabrique) : 95D 06H 09min
18. Stéphane Le Diraison (FRA, Time For Oceans) : 95D 08H 16min
19.Pip Hare (GBR, Medallia) : 95D 11H 37min
20. Didac Costa (ESP, One Planet One Ocean) : 97D 06H 27min
21. Clément Giraud (FRA, Compagnie du lit –Jiliti) : 99D 20H 08min
22. Miranda Merron (FRA, Campagne de France) : 101D 08H 56min
23. Manuel Cousin (FRA, Groupe Sétin) : 103D 18H 15min
24. Alexia Barrier (FRA, TSE - 4myplanet) : 111D 17H 03min
25. Ari Huusela (Fin, Stark) : 116D 18H 15min


Sébastien Destremau (FRA, Merci) 16th January, series of damage
Isabelle Joschke (FRA, MACSF) 9thJanuary, damage on the keel
Fabrice Amedeo (FRA, Newrest - Art et Fenêtres) 11th December, electronic black-out
Sam Davies (FRA, Initiatives – Cœur) 5th December, collision with aufo
Sébastien Simon (FRA, ARKEA PAPREC) 4th December, collision with a ufo
Kevin Escoffier (FRA, PRB) 30th November, shipwreck
Alex Thomson (GBR, HUGO BOSS) 28th November, collision with a ufo
Nicolas Troussel (FRA, CORUM L'Épargne) 16th November, dismasting

Best of

Affiche Vendee Globe 2020
Best of Vendée Globe 2020-2021
Sam Davies
Manuel Cousin, bouée
Boris Herrmann qui profite du beau temps
Premier poisson volant pour Yannick Bestaven
Ile en vue sur Banque Populaire X
Regard tourné vers la tête de course
Edition 2020 - Giraud
Romain Attanasio - bonbons
Maxime Sorel - Montée mât
Skipper portant un dégusiement de père noel
Kojiro se déguise en lutin de Noël pour l'occasion
Benjamin Dutreux a dû monter au mât pour réparer un bout de voile cassé
Clarisse Cremer avec son gateau d'anniversaire
Kojiro Shiraishi sur son bateau
Edition 2020 - Giraud 2
Edition 2020 - Apivia
Edition 2020 - Apivia 2
Arrivée de Yannick Bestaven
Yannick Bestaven soulève la coupe de cette 9e édition du Vendée Globe
Pip Hare
20 Galerie 2020


Pontons départ

Antoine Mermod, IMOCA President, "2024 Vendée Globe projects have already been launched"

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Catherine Chabaud arrivée 1997

Catherine Chabaud: "I draw my energy and my convictions from the Vendée Globe"

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Kevin Escoffier (PRB)

Relieved Escoffier Speaks About His Rescue By Jean Le Cam

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The 2020-2021 Vendée Globe much more than just a success.

Against an unprecedented global health context which brought on many unique challenges, the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe emerged as a triumph, uniting, inspiring and engaging a wider audience than ever before.

Ari Huusela lors de sa conférence de presse

Ari Huusela on his welcome, his race and his pride in his team.

The last skipper to cross the finish line of the ninth Vendee Globe, Ari Huusela was given a big, warm welcome as he returned into Les Sables d'Olonne to complete the dream he has held for 22 years since he first sailed a 6.5m Class Mini across the Atlantic. Here are the words of an emotional,…

Dernier coucher de soleil avant de rejoindre Les Sables d'Olonne

A Fitting Last Hero

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Dernières 24 heures pour Ari Huusela à bord de son IMOCA STARK

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Les 160 derniers milles nautiques se feront dans du vent faible pour Ari Huusela

Sunshine for the reluctant Finnish star, Ari Huusela today....

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Pressé de rentrer aux Sables d'Olonne

In 7 Days Finally the Finnish Final Finisher?

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Alexia Barrier photographiée en conférence de presse

Alexia Barrier's Press Conference

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Alexia Barrier

First words of Alexia Barrier (TSE 4 MyPlanet) "Nothing Is Impossible"

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Alexia Barrier

'Fighting Spirit' Alexia Barrier Finishes 24th in the Vendée Globe on TSE - 4myplanet

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Ari Huusela

Next finishes

THE NEXT ETA (Estimated arrival times)

Alexia Barrier sur la route retour vers Les Sables d'Olonne

Alexia Barrier On Final Approach, Ari Huusela At The Azores

Alexia Barrier is expected Sunday at the finish line, Ari Huusela Safety First to the EndSunday morning Alexia Barrier should be the fourth woman and the 24th skipper to finish the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe. And, facing a final few days of light upwind sailing across the Bay of Biscay, it now looks…

#EN# LES SABLES D’OLONNE, FRANCE - OCTOBER 29: Jean-Yves Chauve (Race Doctor) is portraited on pontoons during the Vendee Globe prestart in les Sables d’Olonne, France, on October 29, 2020. (Photo by Jean-Marie Liot/Alea)

#FR# LES SABLES D’OLONNE, FRANCE - 29 OCTOBRE: Jean-Yves Chauve (Race Doctor) est photographié sur les pontons lors de la semaine prestart du Vendee Globe aux Sables d’Olonne, l

Doctor, Doctor

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Alexia Barrier

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La conférence de presse de Sam après son arrivée aux Sables d'Olonne

Sam Davies: "I felt like I had even more support being out of the race!"

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